We welcome you to the . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Al-Anon Family Group and hope you will find in this fellowship the help and friendship we have been privileged to enjoy.
We who live, or have lived, with the problem of alcoholism understand as perhaps few others can. We, too, were lonely and frustrated, but in Al-Anon we discover that no situation is really hopeless and that it is possible for us to find contentment, and even happiness, whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not.
We urge you to try our programme. It has helped many of us find solutions that lead to serenity. So much depends on our own attitudes and as we learn to place our problem in its true perspective, we find it loses its power to dominate our thoughts and our lives.
The family situation is bound to improve as we apply the Al-Anon ideas. Without such spiritual help, living with an alcoholic is too much for most of us. Our thinking becomes distorted by trying to force solutions, and we become irritable and unreasonable without knowing it.
The Al-Anon programme is based on the Twelve Steps (adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous) which we try, little by little, one day at a time, to apply to our lives along with our slogans and the Serenity Prayer. The loving interchange of help among members and daily reading of Al-Anon literature thus make us ready to receive the priceless gift of serenity.
Anonymity is an important principle of the Al-Anon programme. Everything that is said, here in the group meeting and member-to-member, must be held in confidence. Only in this way can we feel free to say what is in our minds and hearts, for this is how we help one another in Al-Anon.
SUGGESTED PREAMBLE TO THE TWELVE STEPS
The Al-Anon Family Groups are a fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics who share their experience, strength and hope in order to solve their common problems. We believe alcoholism is a family illness and that changed attitudes can aid recovery.
Al-Anon is not allied with any sect, denomination, political entity, organisation or institution; does not engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any cause. There are no dues for membership. Al-Anon is self- supporting through its own voluntary contributions.
Al-Anon has but one purpose: to help families of alcoholics. We do this by practicing the Twelve Steps, by welcoming and giving comfort to families of alcoholics and by giving understanding and encouragement to the alcoholic.
In closing, I would like to say that the opinions expressed here were strictly those of the person who gave them. Take what you like and leave the rest.
The things you heard were spoken in confidence and should be treated as confidential. Keep them within the walls of this room and the confines of your minds.
A few special words to those of you who haven’t been with us long: whatever your problems, there are those among us who have had them too. If you try to keep an open mind, you will find help. You will come to realise that there is no situation too difficult to be bettered and no unhappiness too great to be lessened.
We aren’t perfect. The welcome we give you may not show the warmth we have in our hearts for you, but the warmth is there and you will soon start to feel it.
Talk to each other, reason things out with someone else, but let there be no gossip or criticism of one another. Instead, let the understanding, love and peace of the programme grow in you one day at a time.
Will all who care to, join me in the Serenity Prayer to close our meeting?
Compiled by Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach. Adapted and distributed by:
Al-Anon Family Groups UK & Eire, 57B Great Suffolk Street, London, SE1 0BB
UK39/2010 (address changed 2013) Family Groups Ltd., Registered Charity